Looking For iTunes Help

I thought I would use this forum to see if anybody can help me out. I’m looking for either an iPhone app, AppleScript, or a way to lay out a smart playlist in iTunes for a particular problem.

Here’s the background… I have a 16gb iPhone. I have an absolutely enormous iTunes library (almost 130gb… Over 28,000 songs). Obviously, I had to set up a playlist in iTunes just for my iPhone music. The problem that I’m having is that even with paring my library down to 9gb for the iPhone, between apps, pictures, podcasts, etc, I am constantly running out of room and having to delete music from my playlist in order to make it fit. And forget about trying to add anything new to the playlist. Purchasing a larger iPhone is out of the question right now for me.

What I’d like to do… I’d like to build a smart playlist (or get an AppleScript for iTunes) that would allow me take my iPhone playlist and mix it up every time I sync. Have it set to sync, say only 8gb of music, even though that particular playlist is 9, 10, or more gb. This way, I can keep adding music to the iPhone playlist and never have to remove any. Whenever I connect to iTunes, it would randomly sync only the set amount.

As an example, let’s say I have the following music in my iPhone playlist:

Song A
Song B
Song C
Song D
Song E
Song F
Song G

My iPhone can only hold songs A, B, C, D, & E

When I connect to iTunes, this program would randomly rotate out Song A and swap in song F. But the next time I sync, it might swap A back in while taking out B and adding G.

Hopefully this makes sense. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or ideas.

Thank you all for your help!

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“Relay For Life” of New Milford: The Music Video!

Last weekend, the annual American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” of New Milford, Connecticut was held at Sarah Noble Middle School. I sit on the committee of this wonderful event as the Publicity Chairperson. If you have never attended a Relay, I promise you that it is an event that will stay with you forever.

Obviously, it’s primary function is as a fundraiser. But it is so much more than that. It is a place for cancer survivors, caretakers, family, and friends to come together. It’s a huge party! The’s food, raffles, games, and all kinds of other fun activities. We even had a renewal of wedding vows at the event this year! In turn… It is also a time to remember those that have passed on due to this horrible disease. The Luminaria ceremony and silent laps are perhaps one of the most emotional and beautiful aspects of any “Relay For Life.”

I usually spend my time at Relay running around, answering questions, and trying to help things run smoothly. I’m also the guy with a camera attached to his neck. I probably took close to 400 pictures to document the event (Thank God for digital DSLR cameras). One of the hardest aspects of what I do, is to try and narrow those pictures down to just a few that I feel represent what “Relay” is all about. And then I make a music “video.” This isn’t something I have to do… It’s something I enjoy. So the first step was figuring out what song to use. I came up with what I think is the perfect song: “Courage” by Orianthi. The song is a duet with Lacey from the band, Flyleaf. Then I had to figure out how to cut 400 pictures down to a relative few to fit the length of the song. Here is the video. I hope that you enjoy it. And please, find a “Relay For Life” in your area in which to participate. I promise… It will be amazing! For more information on “Relay”, click here.

Is the Radio Performance Tax Reverse Payola?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of payola is “Undercover or indirect payment (as to a disc jockey) for a commercial favor (as for promoting a particular recording).”

There are two bills in congress, H.R. 848 and S.379, that, if passed into law, would levy fees against radio stations for playing music. Wait… WHAT??? Isn’t that one of the things radio is supposed to do? Play music so that people will hear it and then go out and BUY it?

To listen to the record companies and the artists themselves, you would think that radio is stealing their product. Since the dawn of entertainment-based broadcasting, radio has been used as a means to help promote music and artists. You hear the song, like it, and purchase it. Payola was even used as a means to get radio stations to play songs more often because, say it with me… MORE AIRPLAY MEANS MORE SALES!!!

Now that the record companies are having trouble staying financially in the black, they are looking for new streams of revenue. Hey… let’s charge the people that are helping us a fee. Keep in mind, that radio stations ALREADY pay a licensing fee for the music.

Radio is already in enough trouble. The major groups are all starting to file for bankruptcy protection, literally thousands of employees are being laid off, and syndication is becoming more the rule than the exception. Let’s face it… from a financial standpoint, it’s cheaper to have Ryan Seacrest host 100 of your morning shows than to actually pay for 100 morning shows. I’m not saying radio is innocent in all of this. Consolidation has more or less killed the industry. But… that is a different issue. If these bills pass into legislation, even more people will lose their jobs, and the small radio operators will probably disappear altogether. You will see a good majority of stations switch to talk/news/sports formats. In a lot of cases, it will be cheaper to just shut the transmitters down and call it a day. College radio? forget it… it will completely cease to exist.

And of course, the artists themselves are up in arms over this. “How dare radio play my music without compensating me?” Ummm… let’s go back to paragraph #1. Airplay translates into sales. It’s promotion. You provide the content, radio turn that into sales. And NOT just sales of music. We’re talking ticket sales for concerts and merchandise… both multi-billion dollar industries. Bono has been one of the most outspoken performers in support of the tax. And he’s one of the richest people in the galaxy! Click Here to read what the NAB had to say in response to Bono. I certainly understand that Bono does a LOT of charity work. I appreciate that. But if it wasn’t for media airplay from early MTV and radio, U2 wouldn’t be around today and Bono would probably be a bartender in Dublin instead of owning half of the city! Why do you think artists like the Grateful Dead, Phish, and Dave Matthews ENCOURAGE people to record and trade their music? They know that they might lose some music sales, but they are gaining in merchandise and ticket sales. And The Dead have been around in one form or another for almost 50 years! Sounds like they know what they are doing!

The only music you would probably hear on the radio is that of the biggest artists in the world… the U2s, Rolling Stones, Britney Spears… If you were a new artist trying to get heard, it wouldn’t happen. Whatever happened to the thrill of a new artist hearing their song on the radio for the first time?

Yes… the musicians have a right to be paid for their material. I’m not disputing that. But it is the responsibility of the record companies to pay that. NOT the people trying to help them sell more records. If more artists were to examine their contracts BEFORE they signed them, or learned to negotiate better deals, then this wouldn’t be an issue.

And how would radio pay for these fees if passed? Well, other than laying off even more people, advertising. I think that most “casual” listeners of radio would agree that there are too many commercials as it is. I think that a good average would be 12 to 13 commercials per hour split into 3 commercial “stopsets.” If these laws pass, I have no doubt whatsoever that 20 minutes of commercials per hour would become common.

The record companies know they screwed up big-time when they didn’t jump on the digital bandwagon. And now they are trying to make up for lost time. Piracy is rampant and it’s because the music industry DIDN’T see digital music as a viable platform. For the record (no pun intended), my iPod currently has well over 28,000 songs on it, and it fits in my pocket. How many CDs would I need? The music industry needs to learn to embrace new platforms, not just decide to stick with the old ways of doing business. If they did this back in 1997, there would have been more safeguards against music piracy in place BEFORE it became a major issue.

So… back to the original question. Is this tax a form of revere payola? I think the answer is “yes.” even though payola is illegal, record companies embraced it for years as a way to get their artists more “PROMOTION” by getting records more spins on the air. Now they are asking, no… demanding that radio pay them for the right to promote their music.

I would encourage people to take a look at this website… www.noperformancetax.org to get more information.

Kanye West Needs to Go Away

I didn’t watch the VMA’s.  But I saw the clip that everyone is talking about.  Kanye West had no right to LITERALLY steal Taylor Swift’s moment.

He is seriously no-talent hack who can only stay in the spotlight by trying to upstage others.  He can’t sing without a voice-synthesizer.

Now, from what I understand, he is supposed to be the first musical guest on the new Jay Leno Show.  If Jay and NBC were smart, they would drop him.  Better yet… they shoud REPLACE him with Taylor Swift!

C’mon Jay… DO THE RIGHT THING!!!